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    The Last “Substance Leader” – Nelson Mandela

    Well, we can decidedly close an entire volume of human history: another era has come to a close. Although we still have a 110 year old pianist who remembers meeting Gustav Mahler, we have lost the last bastion of trustworthy social leadership. Nelson Mandela worked for a living despite his royal heritage, and all the while stood up for equality principles before finally leading an entire nation of different peoples into a more cohesive and prosperous future for all. At least for a while. I’m sure being in prison for 27 years imbued much substance that supported his convictions. When any leader takes a stance on anything, many other people…

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    #PsalmQuest 10 – Mirror 2 for solo harp

    Writing this piece of music was probably one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve ever done. Perhaps that’s why it turned out to be a good one. The harp can be a daunting instrument: it is large yet delicate, piano-like but not a piano, strings plucked with four fingers per hand not hammers hit by five fingers. However, the learning process about harp technique was made considerably easier by Jacqueline Pollauf, who has kindly posted a list of guidelines online. But I must admit, I also cheated a little – I asked Anna Kate Mackle, Principal Harpist of the Florida Orchestra, for some input. Back in the mid 80s, Anna Kate…

  • British American Conductor Composer Maestro Stephen P Brown Psalm Piece 3 Piano solo classical music
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    New piano solo – Covered

    Here is my psalm composition quest’s third piece of music: Click here to get your copy of the score For those of you “Psalmsters” following along with this project, you’ll know that this piece of music is based on Psalm 32. This psalm explains how sin is not eliminated, but covered from God’s view. Hence the title of the piece “Covered.” The number 3 plays an important part throughout the psalm, and therefore my piece has lots of three’s in it as well. The introduction, for example, consists of 3 notes. Constructing this piece was most interesting. There are clear elements in the psalm that include instruction, experience and even…

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    Next Piece: A Brass Mirror

    According to the countdown clock on this page there are now LESS than seven years for me to complete the whole project (click here to find out what the project is all about). All is well, though – I seem to be on track. Already I’ve completed two compositions in this massively huge project, and here’s the latest one:   This piece is based on Psalm 143, which is one of the many Lament psalms (58 in all). It has a clear structure, thanks to Longman & Garland’s commentary, and that made constructing the piece very simple. It starts with an introduction, then to a conversational Prayer requesting righteous thinking and…

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    Composing D: Development

    In Sonta Form there are usually two themes (see last week’s post for the Main Theme of our new piece). This past week that theme and the complimentary Secondary Theme were added to the score, twice each, and spread amongst all the instruments. When these two themes are presented for the first time in their entirety, it is usually in a section called the “Exposition” and this is what it sounds like in our “Sonata for Chamber Orchestra”: [ca_audio url=”https://www.stephenpbrown.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Sonata-for-Chamber-Orch-Expo.mp3″ width=”500″ height=”27″ css_class=”codeart-google-mp3-player”]   Now it’s time to move on to the “Development” section. This is usually the longest section of a piece in Sonata Form as the composer can take snippets of both themes…